Farragut North | Theater Wit | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

Farragut North Closing (Theater and Galleries) The Short List (Theater)

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through Oct. 9 2011

Playwright Beau Willimon worked as an intern for Howard Dean's 2004 presidential campaign. So it's odd that his 2008 play--in which an idealistic young politico named Stephen gets a brutal lesson in cynicism and ruthlessness from presidential campaign insiders--feels like it was written by an outsider. Willimon's flabby writing so attenuates the action, especially in the first act, that much of the two-hour drama feels like a padded outline. Stephen's trajectory through the play is largely predictable, and half the characters come across as walking plot devices. Still, Vance Smith's handsomely designed production is entertaining and at times arresting, even if it says nothing new about the insidious corrupting power of ambition. --Justin Hayford

Price: $25

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